Image credit © Zhang Jianjun "Subtantial Desires"
Pearl Lam Galleries
601-605, 6/F, Pedder Building
12 Pedder Street, Central
| Published ||May 20, 2012 at 07:37pm|
| Seen ||1350 times|
Chinese Contemporary Abstract, 1980s Until Present
Pearl Lam Galleries, Mixed-media, Hong-Kong, China
Wednesday May 16, 2012 - Friday July 20, 2012 - Event ended.
For the first time, Pearl Lam Galleries will reveal the rich diversity of abstract art in China since Mao's death. This show and what it suggests will add a new dimension to the way in which Chinese art is viewed and open up another dimension in the study of recent Chinese art history. It is a brave and exciting exhibition mixing contemporary art and art from China’s recent past.
The exhibition is a revelation with its exposure that the few Chinese artists already known to the West do not exhaust what counts as 'Chinese contemporary art'. It is particularly timely given the recent rise of global interest in abstraction and new market interest in Chinese abstract artists.
Gallery artist Zhu Jinshi, featured in this exhibition, will have a solo show at leading US gallery Blum and Poe in June.
Paul Moorhouse, an expert in abstract art, who was formerly a curator at Tate Britain and is now senior curator at the National Portrait Gallery, London said: “I was enormously impressed when I came to China for the first time to look at this body of work and the ground that has been covered in 30 years. I think that it is absolutely extraordinary. What we are looking at is a language in its early stage, which has developed out of a long tradition of Eastern philosophy; it’s at a different point in its evolution from the Western tradition, and I find it inspiring to see the language of abstraction being re-invigorated in this way. It has that virility and freshness, which isn’t always in evidence in the West. I think more dialogue between the two traditions would be of great mutual benefit.”
Featuring artists Yan Binghui, Li Huasheng, Zhang Jianjun, Zhu Jinshi, Su Xiaobai, Li Xiaojing and Qiu Zhenzhong, MINDMAP offers a diverse visual feast of Chinese abstract styles.
Presenting seven leading Chinese abstract artists of different generations, the exhibition, curated by Professor Gao Minglu, takes a fresh look at Chinese contemporary abstract painting over the last 30 years. Gao Minglu is a distinguished scholar of Chinese contemporary art and, notably, the curator of China/Avant-Garde, National Art Museum of China, Beijing (1989), the first contemporary Chinese art exhibition to be mounted in China. He brought the first landmark exhibition of Chinese contemporary art to the US with Inside Out: New Chinese Art, which was first shown at the Asia Society Galleries and MoMA PS1 in New York (1999).
The accompanying catalogue provides a dialogue between Gao Minglu and British curator Paul Moorhouse on the differences between the Chinese and Western traditions of abstraction. The discussion evolved out of a road trip the two curators took across China to visit the artists’ studios.
The two curators start from the premise that the influences between the two traditions are more fluid than previously understood, citing the influence of Chinese calligraphy on Robert Motherwell’s work. They explore whether ‘meaning’ is relevant to the artwork of both traditions, the diverse philosophies that have inspired abstraction, the relationship between landscape and abstract in the two traditions, and the significance of material and form.
Gao Minglu said: “Contrary to perception that it was solely inspired by the Western tradition, ‘Yi Pai’ (Chinese abstraction) is an aesthetic expression heavily rooted in Chinese heritage and Eastern philosophy: Taoism, Confucianism, Literati and ink brush painting. The title MINDMAP refers to the unique qualities of ‘Yi Pai’: an internal landscape where three elements, the ‘Li’ (principal), ‘Shi’ (concept and knowledge) and ‘Xing’ (likeness), merge together. Mindmap is the visual form that immediately conveys imagination, intuition, and technique to the viewer in a single moment, which is evident of an artwork’s development over time and serves as a reflection of the artist and his daily life.”
Pearl Lam added: “Chinese contemporary art is all about re-inventing tradition. I’m hoping that this show will make the Western world look at Chinese abstract art in a new way. We were pouring ink more than 2,000 years ago, way before Jackson Pollock.”
In additional to Chinese Contemporary Abstract, 1980s Until Present: MINDMAP, Pearl Lam will be exhibiting the following artists at ART HK 12: Li Tianbing, Liang Juhui, Su Xiaobai, Tsang Kin-Wah, Zhang Huan, Zheng Chongbin, Zhu Jinshi, Jason Martin, and Jonathan Yeo.